Sunday, 26 April 2015

Are you a fan of DIC Cartoons? Les séries de notre enfance - interview with Nordine Zemrak

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Nordine Zemrak who, along with Maroin Eluasti, wrote the book Les séries de notre enfance (The series of our childhood).  Their book is all about DIC Entertainment; creators of so many great TV Series - including many of my childhood favourites – Ulysses 31, Inspector Gadget, Pole Position and, of course, M.A.S.K. to name but a small few.

Les séries de notre enfance Cover
After a few messages back and forth, Nordine has agreed to do a Q&A session for your reading pleasure!

M.A.S.K. Comics (MC) – Thank you for taking the time to have a chat.  Can you start off with telling us a little bit about yourself?

Nordine Zemrak (NZ) – I'm 40, I live in Lille in Northern France. I am a professor of commerce and likewise and I mix progressive music for webradio and of course I am a fan of animation, retro games and Japan.

(MC) – When did you first become a fan of cartoons from the DIC Stable?

(NZ) – I became addicted to DIC series very quickly. This is going crescendo, Ulysses (31) took me in very distant lands but The Mysterious Cities of Gold completely overwhelmed me. I noted the names at the end of the credits and I soon realised that the name DIC was present on both series. Inspector Gadget, Here Come The Littles, M.A.S.K. and Jayce (and the Wheeled Warriors) confirmed this love for the series DIC. Nothing surprised me when I saw after the logo at the end of a generic.

(MC) – What was it about their cartoons that you liked?

(NZ) – I loved the adventure side.  These animations allowed us to escape, to travel while staying at home and also teach us values!

(MC) – I remember growing up watching many great DIC programmes from Pole Position to Inspector Gadget.  All great, but I think M.A.S.K. has to be my favourite.  Is there any particular series that you would call your favourite?

(NZ) – Without hesitation, I would say The Mysterious Cities of Gold brought me a dream every Wednesday (French broadcast).  I collected all the goodies about this anime  and I still continue.

The Mysterious Cities of Gold
(MC) – What is about that particular cartoon that you love?

(NZ) – The dream, adventure.

(MC) – One of the things that stays in mind after all of these years are the incredible Theme Tunes each cartoon had.  Do you thing these added to the success and longevity of DIC's cartoons?

(NZ) – The music has positively contributed to the success of each series. S. Levy and H. Saban had the power to make magic on each series - worthy of Hollywood movie.

(MC) – Do you have a particular favourite Theme Tune?

(NZ) – Very difficult for my heart - balance between the Mysterious Cities of Gold, Jayce and M.A.S.K.

(MC) – As you may already know from my blog, I'm a big fan of the UK M.A.S.K. Comics.  Did you ever collect any merchandise?

(NZ) – I collected the Panini album which includes the stickers, a few toys and comics.

(MC) – Do you still have your collection?

(NZ) – Unfortunately I did not keep everything on this series. I have the Panini Sticker Album, a promotional brochure and an audio tape, but I keep in touch with big collectors.

(MC) – You wrote Les séries de notre enfance with Maroin Eluasti how and when did the two of you meet?

(NZ) – We met through ebay (lol) there 8 years.

(MC) – When did you come up with the idea of writing a book chronicling DIC?

(NZ) –  When I was a kid, I had a book which incorporated information on DIC and its seriesIt was after a meeting with a friend, who had a fanzine, that the idea of a series and later a book that has materialised with Maroin.

MC) – Can you tell us about your book?

(NZ) – Our book traces the genesis of the DIC Studio and the adventure that lead Jean Chalopin to offer us all these exciting series. It presents the beginnings of DIC, the Development Studio and each series through the scenes.

(MC) – I assume that you had a lot of inside help from DIC – perhaps from Jean Chalopin himself?

(NZ) – Jean Chalopin and a lot of the French, Japanese and American DIC team brought us a lot of elements to build our articles. I mention Bruno Bianchi who greatly helped us and unfortunately left us before the release of the book.

Nordine Zemrak, Jean Chalopin and Maroin Eluasti

(MC) – Was it a childhood dream getting the inside scoop?

(NZ) – Absolutely, the dream has come true to be able to meet all these people who have made us our dreams.

(MC) – With the back catalogue that DIC owns, was it a huge challenge to write this book?  Is there scope for a sequel?

(NZ) – It was a very very big challenge that took us 10 years.  We will not make a sequel.

(MC) – Unfortunately, I don't speak French.  Are there any plans to translate your book into other languages?  I'm sure there would be a big market for an English version?

(NZ) – It is with great pleasure that we would like to adapt the book to the English market.  We did not have the means. We must remember that when published our book we didn't even have a French publisher interested in our project. We appealed to the participation of users via Ulule platform to support our project. But we are very interested for the English edition.

(MC) – I was a fan of Inspector Gadget when I was younger.  When the movies came out, they were a must see for me.  How do you think the live action movies compared to the cartoons?

(NZ) – Inevitably the cartoon keeps a most beautiful place in our heart.

Inspector Gadget

(MC) – Would you like to see more DIC cartoons turned into Live Action Movies?  If so, which ones?

(NZ) – Cinema adaptation of Ulysses, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Jayce and M.A.S.K.

(MC) – As you may know from my blog, I started my journey just over five years ago when I started writing a M.A.S.K. script.  Do you think M.A.S.K. should receive the Live Action treatment?

(NZ) – M.A.S.K. would not be out of place in a live action. This is a fantasy that has its place in the current series or films. You write the script for our friend Dave?

Les séries de notre enfance - M.A.S.K.

(MC) – No.  I'm not sure who wrote Dave Guivant's script – I think maybe he wrote it himself. 

If M.A.S.K. were made into a movie, what characters and vehicles would you like to see?

(NZ) – Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem, of course. Then there are other characters but I'm not sure that the names are the same as in the Anglophone release.

(MC) – What does the future hold for you?  Are you currently working on any more projects?

(NZ) – We have many projects. My friend Maroin pulled a trailer called Asterion a collaboration between France and Japan as at the time of the DIC.

(MC) - Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.

So, there you have it.  If you are a Fan of DIC, then Les séries de notre enfance is the Ultimate Book for you.  It is currently available from Amazon!

Click here to be taken to a great commercial for this fantastic book that has some clips from our favourite DIC TV series - including M.A.S.K.

You can also keep up-to-date on the Les séries de notre enfance Facebook Page.

Bernard Deyries (Director) and Jean Chalopin
Keep up-to-date over at the M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page also.

I'd like to thank José Manuel Rosario Rodríguez - without his great wanted poster, I wouldn't have had the chance to chat with Nordine.  Who knows, perhaps my next interview might be with Jean Chalopin himself?

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics
#DIC #DICEntertainment

No comments:

Post a Comment